Run Hard, Stop for Pictures, Eat Everything: A 2016 Wine & Dine Race Weekend Trip Report - COMPLETE

Discussion in 'Disney Trip Reports' started by CherieFran, Nov 14, 2016.

  1. CherieFran

    CherieFran Mouseketeer

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    Hi and welcome to my very first trip report!

    This trip had a lot of firsts for me so it seemed appropriate to try my hand at my first trip report:

    • First solo trip
    • First visit to the Food & Wine Festival
    • First Wine & Dine Race Weekend
    • First trip to WDW in a month that's not December, January, or February
    My last RunDisney race was Dumbo Double Dare in 2013, and I had been itching to get back to Disney to run. I had liked the idea of the Wine & Dine half marathon in the past, but I'm really not a late-night person, so I wasn't sure I could pull off the night race. When they announced the change to the morning race (which I know a lot of people weren't thrilled about) plus a brand-new challenge, I was sold! At precisely noon on registration day, I was at my computer to sign up for Lumiere's Challenge - the inaugural Wine & Dine 10K + the Wine & Dine Half Marathon.

    I chronicled my training in a training log over in the RunDisney section of the Boards but hopefully the trip report will be a lot more fun:

    Training to Taste: A Wine & Dine 2016 Training Report


    Who: Just me, Cherie. Trying this whole solo trip thing.
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    What: Wine & Dine Race Weekend
    When: November 3-7, 2016
    Where: Port Orleans - French Quarter
    Why: For the bling! And the food!


    Let's get started!
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2016
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  2. CherieFran

    CherieFran Mouseketeer

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    Table of Contents

    Day 0 - Thursday, November 3

    Part 1 - Arrival

    Day 1 - Friday, November 4

    Part 1 - Expo
    Part 2 - Expo, Continued

    Part 3 - Animal Kingdom
    Part 4 - Animal Kingdom, Continued
    Part 5 - Animal Kingdom and Beach Club

    Day 2 - Saturday, November 5

    Part 1 - Wine & Dine 10K
    Part 2 - Wine & Dine 10K, Continued
    Part 3 - Wine & Dine 10K, Continued - The Finish
    Part 4 - Post-Wine & Dine 10K and Magic Kingdom
    Part 5 - Magic Kingdom, Continued

    Day 3 - Sunday, November 6

    Part 1 - Wine & Dine Half Marathon
    Part 2 - Wine & Dine Half Marathon, Continued
    Part 3 - Wine & Dine Half Marathon, Continued
    Part 4 - Wine & Dine Half Marathon, Continued
    Part 5 - Wine & Dine Half Marathon, Continued - The Finish
    Part 6 - Epcot/Food & Wine Festival
    Part 7 - Epcot/Food & Wine Festival, Continued
    Part 8 - Epcot/Food & Wine Festival, Continued
    Part 9 - Epcot/Food & Wine Festival, Continued

    Final Thoughts
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017
  3. CherieFran

    CherieFran Mouseketeer

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    Day 0 - Thursday, November 3 - Arrival Day

    Vacation day started pre-bright and early at about 5 am! Unfortunately, before I could go completely into vacation mode, I had an entire day of work to get through. First off, dropping the pup at daycare. I always miss him, but he has a blast playing with his pals. And I get to watch him on webcam. pug::D

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    At work, I did my best to ignore my growing excitement that the weekend was finally here and tried to focus on getting my to-do list wrapped up. I was at a work lunch when I received this text message:

    image1.PNG

    Woohoo! My room is ready! A quick check confirmed that I got both of my requests - a corner room and a building near the food court/transportation. Too bad I was still 3+ hours away from even leaving for the airport! It was also around this time that I realized that my throat was starting to feel very scratchy. Not painful, just annoying. There had been several people sick in the office that week, so I was not thrilled about the prospect of coming down with something JUST as I was leaving for vacation! >:( Especially a vacation that involves early wake-ups and 19.3 miles of running! I managed to survive the afternoon and ducked out a few minutes early to take the metro to the airport. For some reason, my TSA PreCheck hadn't come through on my boarding pass, but fortunately Southwest has its own terminal at the airport and there was zero line for security. Once in the terminal, I made a beeline for the shops and picked up some Airborne to try to ward off whatever was brewing. I was still full from a big work lunch plus cake for a departing co-worker, so I had a very responsible dinner of bagel chips.

    The flight was smooth and quick - less than 2 hours - and landed about 20 minutes early. A quick trip to baggage claim, and I was on my way to Magical Express! I boarded immediately but had to wait about 20-25 minutes for the bus to fill. The bus stopped at Old Key West and Saratoga Spring before arriving at Port Orleans French Quarter at about 10:45. With the early flight arrival and fairly quick drive, it was about 45 minutes earlier than I had planned on being there, so I was pleased.

    I was too loaded down with bags to appreciate the scenery much, but I did note the fall decor out and about. I've never been to Disney at this time of year, so this was new and fun for me.

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    With no need to visit the front desk, it was a quick and easy walk to my room. Home sweet home!

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    I got myself unpacked and organized, took another dose of Airborne, and was in bed by 11:30, ready for some sweet Disney dreams.
     
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  5. TeeterTots

    TeeterTots DIS Veteran

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    I'm here and excited to read along. I ran the half, a goal I set while visiting marathon weekend for my birthday! Now I'm hooked!
     
  6. rteetz

    rteetz Rumors and News Moderator Moderator

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    Joining in! Can't wait to hear about your experience.
     
  7. Mimsy Borogove

    Mimsy Borogove DIS Veteran

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    Following!
     
  8. ZellyB

    ZellyB DIS Veteran

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    I'm here and can't wait to read all about your trip and the races. Mushu Mouse!!!
     
  9. minniebeth

    minniebeth DIS Veteran

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    Following! I did the Wine & Dine 1/2 Weekend solo too~ I'd love to hear how you liked POFQ for the races (transportation, etc.) because I'd love to consider it for future race weekends! (I've stayed there before but wondering about race weekends specifically.)
     
  10. cavepig

    cavepig DIS Veteran

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    Following along! I'm being lazy and probably not doing a report this time so thank you for taking the time I love reading them :)
     
  11. Sailormoon2

    Sailormoon2 DIS Veteran

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    This was my first Wine & Dine too, again because I prefer a morning race. This was also my first solo trip. I stayed at POFQ in Building 4...That's some pretty crazy coincidences. :-) Ican't wait to hear your perspective on it all.
     
  12. Ariel484

    Ariel484 DIS Veteran

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    Yay! Excited to read your report!

    I know what you mean about leaving the pup, that is the worst part of traveling!

    Darn you, co-workers! I hope your scratchy throat didn't turn into anything more serious!

    I LOVE French Quarter! I didn't know they had fall decor like that, how cute!!
     
  13. Dis_Yoda

    Dis_Yoda DIS Veteran

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    Following along!
     
  14. CherieFran

    CherieFran Mouseketeer

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    Welcome! Congrats on the half! Funny enough, my very first trip to WDW was during marathon weekend, and I thought it would be so cool to run in Disney some day. It took me 10 years to actually do it, though. It was my primary motivation to start running! :-)

    Super! Welcome!

    Thanks! Great!

    Mushu Mouse had to make an appearance! pug:

    Awesome! POFQ worked out perfectly for the race weekend. I had no issues with transportation at all. We shared the bus with Riverside, but it stopped at POFQ first. The only (very minor) negative I had was that the food court was under renovation and the temporary space wasn't set up to be able to run in a grab a quick bottle of water, etc. without waiting in the line of people trying to order. But that shouldn't be a problem in the future.

    Welcome! I love reading race reports, too, so happy to try and add to the collection.

    That's so crazy! Small world!

    Thanks!

    It's always a toss-up to see who is more excited when I pick the pup up - me or him! :D

    Yes, the office definitely has a come-to-work-sick culture which is not always so awesome.

    I'm always happy to be at French Quarter. I feel like it has such a peaceful vibe. It's definitely my default resort.

    Yay! Welcome!
     
  15. CherieFran

    CherieFran Mouseketeer

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    Day 1 – Friday, November 4 – Expo Day

    My exceedingly reliable internal alarm clock woke me up at 5:30 am, my usual Friday wake-up time. I dozed for another hour or so before my alarm went off at 6:45. My plan for the morning was to hit the Expo when it opened at 10 am. Because I knew I’d naturally wake up early, I decided I’d take the opportunity for a nice breakfast beforehand.

    I got up and ready and was out the door about 5 minutes after I planned. I was feeling pretty okay but dosed myself with Airborne and brought some extra with me to take midday. POFQ was beautiful first thing in the morning. It was two days before daylight savings time ended, so sunrise was pretty late.

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    Rather than mess with Disney transportation, I requested a Lyft to my breakfast destination. This was my first time using Uber/Lyft at WDW. I’ve used Uber a lot in the past but have been using Lyft more and more because it has an option to tip built into the app. Uber says tips aren’t needed but I’ve heard that drivers expect them (in cash) and the uncertainty around it stresses me out a bit. It took about 8 minutes for my Lyft to arrive, and we made the drive to Animal Kingdom Lodge in less than 15 minutes. Along the way, we passed what appeared to be a considerable traffic jam heading to Animal Kingdom. I’m assuming it was the aftermath of the 5K. The Lyft driver showed his ID to security and dropped me off at the doors to Jambo House.

    4.jpg

    I’ve never stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge but I love it. We almost always come here for dinner during our trips (usually Jiko, but occasionally Boma). It had been years since I had eaten breakfast at Boma, though. I had a few minutes to kill, so I took a quick peek at the savannah behind the lodge but it didn’t appear like any animals were out at the time. So I headed back instead to check in at Boma for my 8:15 breakfast. They asked me to sit and wait but a host came to seat me within a minute or two. Boma was nowhere near full when I was seated (although it was pretty full by the time I left), and I was seated in an alcove area tucked away from the hustle and bustle.

    My waiter was wonderfully friendly. For drinks, I order the “Jungle Juice” (Passion, Orange, Guava) – Yum!


    5.jpg

    I also asked if they had mint tea, which they didn’t. It definitely wasn’t a big deal – I was only really ordering it because the drinks were included. The waiter was concerned, though, and he had their whole assortment of decaf teas waiting for me when I returned from the buffet, so I had a cup of decaf English breakfast tea instead. Boma is a massive and unique buffet with a great combo of regular American breakfast and African-inspired dishes. I filled my plate up with the savory side of things on my first pass. It was all delicious, particularly the pap (similar to grits) and the chakalaka (a tomato-based stew).


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    I’m the kind of person who likes to eat small amounts frequently, so I’m not a great match for buffets. I was doing my best to eat slowly and savor. After my first plate, I did a bit of resting and enjoying my tea. Somewhere in here, a guy was seated solo at the table next to me. He was just far enough away that I couldn’t hear his conversations with the host or waiter but he seemed to be in a foul mood from the moment he sat down. I tried hard to ignore his negative vibe. Fortunately he ate quickly and left before I was done. Weird. :confused3

    After a bit, I was able to rally for a second plate to try a few of the dishes from the sweet side of the buffet. The French toast bread pudding with praline sauce was super tasty. I also had a Simba waffle because it was too cute to resist and an apple pastry that the waiter recommended. The pastry was good but I was too full to finish it. Also note, the token two pieces of fruit! Priorities!

    7.jpg

    110% full, I paid my bill and made my way to wait for a bus to the Expo. Buses were scheduled to start running at 9:30 for the 10 am Expo opening, but one arrived within just a couple minutes of my getting to the stop at about 9:15. The bus made a stop by Kidani Village before heading to the Expo, and we were at Wide World of Sports a few minutes after 9:30. I walked up to the expo area and assessed the situation. The packet pickup was in one building and the main RunDisney merchandise plus other expo vendors were in another. I had already planned to take care of merchandise first, and when I saw that the line waiting for packet pickup was longer than the one waiting for merchandise that sealed the deal. My packet wasn’t going anywhere. There were maybe 40 or 50 people in line in front of me. I ended up having a nice chat with a couple standing behind me when the woman asked if she could take a picture of my shoes (the Disney Jungle Book Vans). 8-) The couple was from Oregon, and their daughter was a cast member at Disneyland. This was their first RunDisney weekend, so we chatted some about what to expect.


    Right at 10, they started letting people in. I headed straight back to the RunDisney official merchandise area.

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    I had seen a preview of the merchandise online, and I had a few things in mind, but not a long list. There were two tank tops I was thinking about but the Lumiere’s Challenge one appeared to be sold out (perils of the second day of the expo) so I settled for the half marathon one. I wasn’t too upset as I was semi-planning on making myself choose only one anyway (and it would have been a hard choice!). I also picked up two sweaty bands – one for the half and one for the challenge. I was done with the Disney merchandise area in about 10 minutes. It was busy but not crazy.

    The “walls” of the RunDisney area had cute panels showing the various courses for the weekend.

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    A gentleman saw me taking pictures and insisted on taking one with me in it. Thank you, sir!

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    I had a few other stops to make, including buying a sweaty band and KT tape to match my 10K outfit, and then I made a loop through the rest of the vendors and determined that there was nothing else that I couldn’t live without.

    Time to head to packet pickup!
     
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  16. cavepig

    cavepig DIS Veteran

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    But did you get a kiwi? We actually did 2 passes through the vendors as we got there before my older brother and his family so did it once then again with them. The first time through missed the kiwis but the 2nd time got one. I love how they have the large maps printed. Boma's looks good too. I've never done bfast there as like you I'm not a huge buffet person.
     
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  17. Sailormoon2

    Sailormoon2 DIS Veteran

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    This is so me. In fact I had reservations at Boma for after the 10K, but cancelled them, when I just couldn't really justify the cost, just to have "tastes" of a bunch of different things. I would typically do buffets with DH because He.Can.Eat. so that makes it worthwhile, as he indulges in enough for both of us.

    I can't believe I didn't even notice these. Great photo!!
     
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  18. ZellyB

    ZellyB DIS Veteran

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    Breakfast looks delicious. That Simba waffle is the best! Sounds like everything went pretty smoothly at the Expo. We went the first day when we did W&D last year and it was pretty crazy. Cute shot of you in front of the sign!
     
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  19. rteetz

    rteetz Rumors and News Moderator Moderator

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    I have never stayed at AKL either but love visiting it. Boma breakfast is great.

    The walls look great and thats nice that someone offered to take a picture for you.
     
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  20. Dis_Yoda

    Dis_Yoda DIS Veteran

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    Looks like you had an awesome breakfast and a successful Expo day! You seemed to not spend too much either!
     
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  21. Ariel484

    Ariel484 DIS Veteran

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    I love Boma for breakfast. I wish they had an a la carte option! "100% full" made me LOL.

    Good job not spending much at the expo! I admire you. ::yes::

    This is random, but I don't think I've seen a picture of you with your hair down - I LOVE your haircut! It's so cute!
     
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